One year already!

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blogiversaryToday, precisely a year ago, I was posting my very first blog post on Crafty Effie, yay!

Yes, I have been chewing your ears off for a year now! But you’re still here, so I guess it’s not so bad :) It’s been an amazing journey so far, and it’s all because of the readers, and the crafting community. This blogiversary puts me in a very good mood today, and I want to share the love! So as a token of my gratitude, I want to make one of you my blog Valentine and send you a little special gift! To participate, just leave a comment below before 11:59 PM this Saturday, February 14th. In your comment, please make sure you leave your email address and choose ONE WORD that describes what “Crafty Effie” is to you. International entries are welcome.

On Sunday, I’ll randomly pick one entry and contact you. Good luck all :)

WIP tour 2015 departing, all aboard!

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I have been pretty busy craft-wise in the last few weeks going from knitting and crocheting to sewing and weaving, and that translates as quite a few WIPs in the works right now. Since I haven’t blogged about any of my current projects so far, I thought it would be interesting to share with you what I’ve been up to lately.

The first WIP I want to share with you is a cute pair of lace socks I’m making using some Cascade Heritage yarn I had on hand. I improvised this design using a basic feather and fan pattern for the cuff and a simple eyelet pattern for the foot. It’s a very simple and fun pattern to knit, so when I’m done with the second sock I think I’ll publish the pattern for free on Ravelry for others to enjoy too :) Let’s share the love! FotorCreatedSince I made the lace socks for myself, I also had to make some socks for me Honeybee – you know how it goes! And since he’s a little picky about colors, I didn’t have anything in stash that suit his taste so we went yarn shopping last weekend in Burlington. He set his heart on a yarn I had never worked with before, Kroy FX sock yarn in Cadet Colors. Although I do find the yarn a little thick for a sock yarn, I must say I do like the color variations a lot. And somehow, it seems to fit the cable pattern I came up with pretty well. Another possible free sock pattern? Maybe. We’ll see :) 20150209_005250388_iOSLast month I also started a test-knit for Paula Ladd, a very nice button up cardigan with a mock cable pattern called “Evelyn“. It is a bottom up cardigan, which I don’t knit very often because experience has taught me that I generally run out of steam before reaching the the yoke. I pulled this one through though, and I finished the body today. Now I can move onto the sleeves, Yay! Although it has been slow progress, I’m still pretty pumped about it and cannot wait to see it come to life in the next few weeks!

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I also took some time in the last month to make a few sets of placemats for friends and family using some fabric I had in stash. It turned out pretty good, and something is telling me I might make some more this month! FotorCreated2Last but not least, I have 3 friends of mine who are pregnant or recently gave birth, so I have been a little baby-crazy in the last few weeks. Lots of things to share in the picture below! The gray rectangle on the bottom is a baby blanket in the making, using some Bernat Baby Coordinates yarn I had in stash. This pattern looks so cute! On the right is the fabric I’ll be using for a special home/dec project for a little girl’s nursery. On the top left is a few 2/8 cotton bobbins for a couple baby wraps I’ll be weaving in the next few weeks and on the top right corner is the cutest book I found for crochet toys… I think I’ll try my hand at it in a couple weeks time. hehehe :)

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That’s it for me, what have you guys been up to lately?

FO Friday!

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Heyho crafties!

Just a short post to share with you guys my latest FO, a cutesy easy shawl started on September 27th, 2014 and finished on January 14th, 2015. It is my second FO of the year, W00T!! The pattern is called “Bamboo wedding shawl“, from Purl Soho, and the yarn I used is Cascade Heritage in the color Como Blue. I used a size 4mm needle instead of the 3.25mm needle the pattern called for because I have knitted with Cascade Heritage on 3.25mm needles before, and I just knew I wanted this shawl to be more airy and supple than that.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Crafty-Effie/bamboo-wedding-shawl-2
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Crafty-Effie/bamboo-wedding-shawl-2

It is the second time I have knitted this pattern, the first time was a little over a year ago as a Christmas present for my mom. It was before I started blogging so there is no photo of it anywhere here, but here’s one just for the heck of it :)

1039842_10151909815602475_405873816_oAs you can see it’s very thick, very wide, full of mistakes and not very long to boot. It was also my very first lace project, and I must say I made a lot of progress since then. The pattern that seemed so complicated to me at first now feels so easy and relaxing to knit now, and the result looks so much better too. Ah, the miracles of time!

Start it off with a bang!

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2015 only just started, and with it comes a a few resolutions, projects and ideas to start off the new year afresh. This year, I made a few promises to myself. Nothing big or fancy, just a few things that I think are going to make things better.

  1. I want to learn how to relax more.
    I like to keep myself busy and I always have a lot of projects and ideas all lined up – not that it’s going to change, but I think I need to make more time amongst all those crazy projects to just take time for me. Enjoy some company, play with my cats, savor a good cup of coffee – that kind of thing.
  2. I want to start less, and finish more.
    I think it’s a crafter’s plague to have too many projects on the needles, and to really finish only a few of those. I broke my personal record for frogged projects in 2014, and it made me reflect on why those projects were frogged in the first place. Some of those were just failures that never saw the light of day, but I noticed that most of them simply happened to be projects I started but wasn’t inspired enough to work on them, let alone finish them! So this year, I want to work on fewer projects that I feel more inspired by, and take them to the finish line.
  3. I want to knit from stash. No, really.
    I love to shop for yarn. Who doesn’t, really? But I recently came to the conclusion that bigger isn’t necessary better. What I mean by that is that even if you have the nicest yarns in the world, they won’t mean a thing unless you use them. This year, I will not buy yarn “just because”, or “because it’s on sale”, or “because it’s pretty”, or any combination of those reasons. This year, I’ll only buy yarn if I have a specific projects in mind, that I do not have appropriate stash yarn for. No exceptions. We’ll see if I can downsize my yarn stash this way :)
  4. I want to weave more.
    I have a nice floor loom, and I love it, but I feel like I’m not using it enough. Part of the reason is that I do not own a lot of weaving thread, so my options are a little limited when starting a project. In 2015, I want to acquire a wider variety of weaving thread (How perfect, I can use the money I save from not buying yarn, eh?) and create more handwoven projects.
  5. I want to keep this blog going.
    I have never had a blog before, and as a kid, I was never able to constantly keep a journal either. It is a big challenge for me to get into a habit of updating my blog regularly, but 2014 really showed my how fun it is to share my stories with like-minded people, and how enjoyable the process of writing it can be. So this year, I’ll do my very best to keep my blog updated and fun :)
  6. I want to publish more designs.
    In 2014, I published my very first knitting pattern, my Sunny Summer Stripes sweater. Although it hasn’t really been a success so far, I want to keep trying. So in 2015, I want to create more, design more, and publish more. In the making, I currently have 2 sweater patterns and a sock pattern that should be published some time this spring. Once those are done, I’ll move onto something else, and I hope I’ll be able to write many, many more patterns this year.

That is it for New Year resolutions! Enough, isn’t?

In other news, I want to share with you my very first 2015 FO, my snowflake sweater, started on December 4th, 2014 and finished on January 1st, 2015 :)

Happy new year guys!

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Crafty-Effie/snowflake
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Crafty-Effie/snowflake

2014 wrap up

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2014 is coming to an end, and as it is I am reflecting on my 2014 projects and I feel very satisfied by the progress I made and the things I learnt. I am just sitting here, on my honeybee’s parent’s couch in Ohio, relaxing while sipping on some tea, and I reflect on my 2014 crafting year. It’s a thing I really like to do, mostly because every day life just goes by so fast that it’s nice to take some time at the end of the year to slow down, relax and look over what you have accomplished in the past 12 months. It’s especially nice this year because I just recently discovered on Ravelry that you can search through your projects using tags (like for example “2013” or “2014”) to know exactly how many projects you made or how much yarn you used during a certain year. Here’s the break down of my 2014 progress compared to the year before:

2013 : 4 385 yards in 7 projects (mostly shawls and scarves)

2013

2014 : 10 250 yards in 16 projects (sweaters, scarves, shawls, socks, hats and a bag)

2014

In total, I used over twice the yardage and finished twice as many projects in 2014 than I did in 2013, and it feels good. To those 16 knitting/crochet/weaving projects, I also have to add 2 464 yards of handspun yarn, 4 sets of placemats, and my first handmade quilt.

Oh, you haven’t seen it? True… It was one of my secret Christmas projects. Well, talking about my secret Christmas projects… Here’s a couple of them. First is the quilt I made for my dad. It is my very first quilt, so it’s very wrinkly, uneven and full of mistakes, but I’m still very proud nonetheless. I worked on it for 2 years, and finally finished it a couple weeks ago, just in time for Christmas.

dadsquilt

The second thing I want to share is a pair of socks I made for my honeybee’s sister, Emily. These Lemon & Lime socks were made using the Studioloo Bootsie-loo sock yarn I bought at the Twist Festival this fall, in the color “Linden Tree”. The pattern I used is called Seed Stitch socks, from Vogue.

Emilyssocks

Well, that’s my 2014 wrap up… I hope you guys all had a good time over Christmas, and I wish you all the best for the upcoming year. Take time to enjoy the simple things in life, and to focus more on the things and people you love, and what really matters. Life is short and precious, take advantage of every moment :)

Happy new year all!

A little guessing game – Christmas Giveaway!

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I have been working a lot in the past couple weeks on handmade Christmas presents for friends and family, and fortunately for me things have been cruising along at a very nice pace. I started my Christmas preparation a little late this year so things really could have gotten ugly – I am so very glad it didn’t, and I’m crossing my fingers that things will keep cruising until the very end!

Since most of those projects have not yet been gifted (heck most of them aren’t even finished!) I can’t really show you guys real progress pictures, but I guess we probably CAN play a little guessing game. Here’s a close up of 3 projects I’m currently working on for Christmas. If you think you can guess what one (or more!) of these items are, like or share this post and leave a comment below telling me what your guess (or guesses) are. Out of all the entries received by December 25th, I’ll give away a little surprise to one lucky winner.

Good luck all! :)

FotorCreated

December rush

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Hey-ho Crafties! As December rolls around, bringing its share of freezy-rosy cheeks and joyful moments, I want to share with you my thoughts as I am slowly getting started on my Holidays preparation. There’s a lot of mysteries and secrets around this month as most of my quick projects will be offered as Christmas presents, but I’m sure I’ll find a way to show you a glimpse of what I’m working on throughout the month without spoiling too much of the surprise :)

First off, I finished the Woodsmoke Sweater I was test-knitting for the lovely Megh Testerman, from Studio North. I am completely in love with the finished garment, and I can tell you that I will wear the heck out in the next few months as the temperature drops to inhuman levels (ok, I might be exaggerating a little bit). And I found the cutest owl buttons to go with it, isn’t cool?

FotorCreatedThe cardigan is complete, at 36 355 stitches. Needless to say that I did not qualify for the the NaKniSweMo this year, since the sweater was under the required 50 000 mark. I must say though, even though I didn’t make it, I’m still very happy about the sweater I completed, and I at least know I reached the goal in my own way – especially knowing that I finished my Frosted Rose cardigan during the challenge, which puts me at way more than 50 000 stitches combined.

Since I finished the 2 sweaters I have been working on in the last couple months, I (obviously) decided to start a new one, and I’m really excited about the project. I just cast on a couple days ago, the pattern is called Snowflake from Tincanknits and I’m using a lucky destash find of Plucky Primo Sport in the color Cryin’ Icicles.

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In other news, I have been spending my time cleaning and decorating the house, and I slowly started cooking and baking for the Holidays – hmmmmmm, sugar pie!! (if you don’t know what this Quebec specialty is, you oughta look it up. Seriously. There, just click here).

So how’s your Holiday preparation going, fellow Crafties? :)